How did you spend your summer?

It’s a common question on campus when people see each other for the first time in a while.

For the men’s basketball team it was the continuation of a transition set in motion last January and still continues now that school has begun.

The transition included a rare trip overseas for a mix of a cross cultural experience, service and basketball.  It was the culmination of a summer of work and transitioning for a new coaching staff and a group of players trying to improve in the off season in preparation for a fast approaching season.

Junior guard Chandler Brunsting takes us through the last several months as  a member of the team and what he and the team was able to glean from the trip to the Netherlands in August.


DSC_0095It all started during Christmas break when Coach Douma pulled the whole team into the Gold Room and told us after the season he would be stepping down as head coach. That’s when in all of our minds we thought that we needed to do something for him since this was his last season. That’s when we made it a goal as a team to make the GPAC tournament.

Of course it came down to the final game of the season in order for us to make the tournament.

We lost our first game in the tournament, but overall, we thought it was a great season and were happy that we could get coach to the tournament one last time.

In April, Coach Douma told us  a coach was coming in to see us players and have an interview with us. The next day we all met in the Gold Room off the De Witt Gym and Brian Van Haaften walked in the room as the next potential Dordt coach.

We all got to ask him questions and all got to give our input on what we wanted in our next coach. The following week it was announced that Coach Van Haften was going to be our new coach and all us players were super happy.

He then sat us down before the end of the school year and laid out the summer for us and we couldn’t wait to get started.

He then sat us down before the end of the school year and laid out the summer for us and we couldn’t wait to get started.

This summer we had guys stay around campus and worked out four days a week.

I loved being able to come to Dordt and see all the guys and hang out with them. I thought doing this built amazing chemistry with the guys that stayed around here.

In the month of June, we played in a summer league against Briar Cliff, Mount Marty, and University of Sioux Falls. Each week we played at a different site and played a couple games each night.

On Mondays we would just play open gym and have recruits come in to play with us. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, we would do shooting and ball handling for the first hour or so and then we went and lifted as a team.

Thursdays were filled with open gym and lifting.

The one thing coach talked about when he first came to Dordt was the things he looks for in his teams and one of the main things we remember him saying was him talking about culture.

This summer we had great culture and attitude, in my opinion, and it shows in how we play on the court.

This summer we had great culture and attitude, in my opinion, and it shows in how we play on the court.

Lifting three times a week has also made everyone stronger which will allow us to play with all the teams this year. That was a point of emphasis with coach–he wanted us to gain 10 pounds in muscle, so we can compete at the top.

In August we had a team trip/tour in the Netherlands. Friday, August 10 we left Dordt after a sendoff by President Hoekstra and other staff members and guests. We flew from Sioux Falls to Minneapolis and from there to Amsterdam.

The flight was one of the highlights of the trip because for some of the guys this was their first time flying and for others this was the first time flying out of the country.

There were many highlights that we experienced along the trip. One of the first ones was visiting Kinderdijk and learning about the windmills since we see all kinds of windmills around here.

We played our first real game together and had Coach Van Haaften coach us for the first time ever.

Another highlight that we got to experience was getting tours around the city and learning about Dordrecht and learning how Dordt College got its name from the town.

We were able to try new foods and learned a little Dutch while we were there. We also got to teach little kids from around the area about the game of basketball and show them drills. One of the best days, and I think  all the guys would agree with me when I say this, was when we got to go to Amsterdam for a whole day and walk around the city and go in all the shops and tour the city. We took a couple of tours while we were there and went on the tallest building in the Netherlands.

We got to know Coach Van Haaften and hangout with him and grow close to him. Finally, on the basketball side a highlight for us was going 5-0 throughout the week and just having a lot of fun and getting to know teammates and coaches more. The only low points that happened during the week is when we had to come back. We all had such a fun time that we wanted to stay, but at the same point we were ready to come back and see our families.

Now school is starting up again and all of the guys are back on campus and are more than ready to get the season started.

Fall  workouts have started and practice gets underway at the end of September and before you know it will be starting to play our first game on October 27.

We have high hopes and look forward to the season with new guys, returners and our coaching staff.


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